Friday, August 31, 2007

Snow to leave soon

From The Washington Post:

White House press secretary Tony Snow sounds as if he's had about enough.

At yesterday's press briefing, CBS News's Bill Plante asked about a new report by the Government Accountability Office showing problems in Iraq.

"There are a lot of reports," said Snow. "It's a season of reports."

CNN's Ed Henry inquired about the "16 spy agencies" that wrote a National Intelligence Estimate.

"Sixteen spy agencies?" Snow answered reproachfully. "You're talking about intelligence agencies."

And don't even bother asking him about Sen. Larry Craig. "Thank you for the question," the spokesman spoke. "I've already given my answer."

"No, you didn't," pointed out April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks.

"Yes, I did," Snow retorted, then reconsidered. "Okay, I gave the answer I'm going to give."

Plante detected a bit of snippiness. "Your tolerance level seems to be slipping," the veteran newsman observed.

"Really?" Snow replied. "Am I getting cranky like you? Wow."

Snow said earlier this month that he'll be leaving his position before the president has left his. But he hasn't said when.

When The Post's Michael Fletcher asked him about the truth of reports that Snow would be departing before the end of the year, Snow advised Fletcher to "stand down" and added a hoary cliche: "When I have something to announce, I'll let everyone know."

Speculation around the briefing room is that Snow is nearing that point.

And who could blame him? The former Fox News host suffered a cancer recurrence earlier this year, and he has the admirable desire to earn more money for his family than a government salary provides.

Snow left his job as a talk radio host in order to become the White House Press Secretary because he believed he could make a positive contribution to the Bush administration and to the nation. I believe he has done so. The pay cut was not an issue because he would exit the White House into book deals, the lecture circuit and just about any radio or TV deal he could wish for.

However when Tony left his high paying radio job to go to relatively low paying White House job he believed himself to be cancer free and healthy. Now the cancer has returned and spread and the sad fact is that he is dying.

What time he has left, and it may be a year or two or even longer, he needs to use to earn as much money as possible in order to leave his family as well off as possible.

Another factor is the disappointment he must feel in the job itself. Tony Snow is a reporter and he feels, or felt, an affinity for other reporters. These are people whom he regarded as colleges and friends even when he didn't agree with them. To find that they now regard him as an enemy and treat him with hatred must be saddening.

George H.W. Bush made the same mistake with congress. He assumed that because he had been a congressmen that they were his colleges and friends. He knew that things could get rough and tumble during business hours, but at the end of the day they could all go out to an upscale Georgetown bar and have a few drinks and play golf together on the weekends and have a nice dinner at the country club. He was unprepared for the fact that the Democrat majority hated him and wanted to destroy him.

During the cold war the United States and the Soviet Union fought a vicious war against each other without ever directly meeting on the battlefield. Instead they used surrogates like North Korea and South Korea, divided Vietnam, The Sandinistas verses the Contras and so on. The same thing is going on in America today.

There is a Civil Cold War being fought between the Left and Right in America today. It is no less a civil war than the affair in the early 1860's but instead of taking up rifles and meeting on battlefields like Gettysburg or Shiloh the two sides are using surrogates.

Today, just as in the Cold War between US and USSR, the Left can be expected to back the side which is the most nakedly evil. Think about it, where would you have rather lived East Berlin or West Berlin? Where would you rather live now, North Korea or South Korea?

In the Civil Cold War the primary surrogate of the Right is the free government of Iraq and the primary surrogate of the Left is al Qaeda (even while Democrats squeak that we are not doing enough to "get" bin Laden they are doing everything in their power to hand him victory in what he considers to be the most important battlefield in the war of Islam against everything else - Iraq).

Tony Snow was unprepared for the fact that he was enlisting in a war and that the people he would be facing in his press briefings were the enemy no less than if President Reagan's Press Secretary had addressed a room full of KGB agents or President Roosevelt's Press Secretary had spoken to a room full of SS officers.

I think he knows that now and it has to wear a man down especially when he is sick.

I wish Tony all the luck in the world and I hope he makes enough that his kids can go to Ivy League schools and his wife can live extremely well and never have to work another day in her life.

I also hope than in his final book that he unloads on the left-wing propagandists that he has been having to endure since coming to work in the White House.